Technical Product Information

Disposable Respirator Comparison and Standards

Mask standards can be confusing: N95, KN95, FFP2, P2 or surgical mask. This quick summary covers mask types, their ratings and their effectiveness at filtering particles.

Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR), sometimes called disposable respirators or masks, are subject to various regulatory standards around the world. These standards specify certain required physical properties and performance characteristics in order for respirators to claim compliance with the particular standard. Thus, the main difference between the various FFRs available globally, and the subsequent name of the FFR, depends primarily on the standards to which they were certified. For example:

  • Single-Use Face Mask (China YY/T0969)
  • Surgical Mask (China YY 0469) / (USA ASTM F2100) / (Europe EN 14683)
  • N95 / N99 / N100 (United States NIOSH-42CFR84)
  • FFP1 / FFP2 / FFP3 (Europe EN 149-2001)
  • KN95 / KN99 / KN100 (China GB2626-2006)
  • P2 (Australia / New Zealand AS/NZA 1716:2012)
  • Korea 1st class (Korea KMOEL – 2017-64)
  • DS2 (Japan JMHLW-Notification 214, 2018)

As shown in the table below, respirators certified as meeting these standards can be expected to function very similarly to one another, based on the performance requirements stated in the standards and confirmed during conformity testing. Thus, it is reasonable to consider China KN95, AS/NZ P2, Korea 1st Class, and Japan DS2 FFRs as equivalent to the US N95 and European FFP2 respirators for filtering non-oil based particles, air pollution, or bioaerosols such as viruses.

In summary, effective masks for the prevention of viral transmission would include a US ASTM surgical mask a N95, KN95, FFP2, P2, Korea 1st Class, DS2 or FFRs with a higher rating.

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